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Smelly / Strange Tasting Water
The Problem
For the past several years, Orland Park and other communities that draw water from Lake Michigan and the other Great Lakes have noticed a unique new flavor to the water. Most of the questions and complaints describe it as an earthy, musty, or moldy taste.

No Health Threats

The first thing everyone should know is that the compounds that have been causing the taste and odor problems do not pose any health threat, they are just annoying.

Algae & Other Microorganisms
The compounds that cause this situation can be traced to algae that grows in all of the Great Lakes. The algae and other microorganisms give off compounds that are powerful in the taste and odor effect they produce.

The Pesky Zebra Mussel
It is believed this effect on the water is more noticeable due to the pesky zebra mussel now found in the Great Lakes. Each mussel filters about one liter of water each day. This has improved the clarity of the lakes which, in turn, help the sun’s rays to penetrate deeper which, in turn, helps the algae and microorganisms to grow.

Filtration & Chemicals
Filtration and chemicals such as chlorine and activated carbon help eliminate most of the problems.

Temporary Solutions

Sometimes, putting a container of water in the refrigerator for 24 hours may help. But no matter what you do, it looks as if this problem could be around for a while as once again mother nature shows us who’s boss.